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John E. Helm


Ash Grove, Missouri (originally Kansas City)

Wet MD

Eyes Affected

Eye Color

Age at Diagnosis

Visual Acuity
Left: 20/200. Right not sure, but can be corrected to nearly 20/20.

One visudyne/pdt treatment 02/02/04 at V.A. hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Family History
Mother had MD, is about all I know, but am looking into it.

Impact on My Life
I guess it really hasn't soaked in yet. I'm still trying to assess my choices.

Positive Effects
After 70 years of doing whatever I wanted to do, I haven't seen any yet, but I know there will be some.

Carrying a flashlight and a magnifying glass so far, but as I learn more it will change. I still have one pretty good eye and can drive all right. My wife is an excellent driver, but has always let me do the driving, including traveling around the country in a R.V. since Sept. 2000. So when or if the time comes, she can drive .

Am pretty much retired, but being an Auctioneer, I still "cry" a sale now and then, and I still buy "junk" and sell "merchandise."

More About Me

Just your average Joe, I guess. I quit school in the eighth grade and worked at various jobs until 1951, when I joined the U.S. Marines. I made Sergeant by he time I was 18 and spent a little over a year in the Korean "Conflict" as a tank mechanic, and was honorably discharged in 1954.

Nov.27.1954 I married my "sweetie" after a long courtship of nearly three months, I know it probably won't work, but after almost 50 years, I am still hoping it will. The first of our five sons was born ten months (ten months, mind you) after we were married, and the twins were born in 1962. We have 5 grandsons, 3 granddaughters and 2 great granddaughters.

Got fired from my last job in 1960 for missing one day in five years. (I was racing Sprint cars, and I won a race that day that paid more than a month's salary.) I have been self employed since that day and have learned to live with "Chicken one day and feathers the next." I have been fortunate enough to make a living at everything I have done (except racing) from being an opperating engineer, used car dealer, real estate broker, auctioneer, and various other "odd" jobs wuth the help of my sons and some hard work and improvising. I have been able to field race cars that were good enough for each to have won races before "retiring," and last but not least, I was the car owner of the WOFC Sprint car 1992 champion (my grandson, "Hurricane" Andrew, and his brother, "Slammin" Simon, in 1994). Anyway, the kids were good at it, but I was glad when they decided they liked chasing girls better than racing. Now their wives won't even let grampa mention racecar around them.

I suppose if I had a nickname, it would be "Lucky." For instance, we were "Homeless" (full time RVers) since 2000, and about 3 months ago we drove by a "Retirement Village" in Ash Grove, Missouri. I told my wife we should stop and check on living in a place like that. To make a long story short, we liked the deal, made application, and got on a waiting list, anywhere up to a year. Well, 30 days later we are scrounging up furniture and moving in. Ran one ad and sold the RV, then went to the doctor and found out I probably will never be able to drive a motorhome again. You have heard the old saying, "God takes care of fools and preachers?" Well, I ain't no preacher.

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